Roll Call: On Violence and the Power of Naming

(Included here are two excerpts, but please go to the link to read the whole poem)

The teacher’s struggle:

at the start of each term

after I scan the class list

I fumble for weeks

mastering the correct pronunciations

and linking faces to their names.

...

It’s hard, I get it.

We’re all terrible with names, we say.

But even those of us who have to rummage

through the alphabet to recall

the name of an acquaintance,

we know what it is to scream that name in our hazy nightmares

to whisper it

to call it into a room, forgetting that there will be

no

answer.

I want you to say it.

Say her name.

Say their names, all of them.

Say Rehtaeh Parsons.

Say Loretta Saunders.

Say Rinelle Harper.

Say Tina Fontaine.

Say Amanda Todd.

Say Reena Virk.

Say Helen Betty Osborne.

Say Serena Abotsway.

Say Mona Lee Wilson.

Say Andrea Joesbury

Say Brenda Ann Wolfe.

...

https://lucialorenzi.wordpress.com/

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